Now this post concerns something that 98% (ok I admit I made a random guess with this statistic) of UEA students will never have to do; the Minotaur Weekend. For those of you not in the know this is the weekend long project that all new drama students must participate in during their first week at UEA. What occurs during this weekend is a closely guarded secret that older students are forbidden from imparting to prospective undergraduates, and can therefore become the focus of a great deal of anxiety in the run up to starting uni.
When speaking to second years we were advised to keep it “light-hearted” and “just have fun”, whilst the lecturers asked us to look for sincerity and artistic truth…. Not a good start.
And so it was with a great deal of trepidation that I embarked on this project, unsure what was expected of us and aware that it culminated in front of a crowd of second and third years in what could be abject humiliation…. Now I can’t really say any more except that it felt like we really went back to the Greek roots of theatre, there was wine, there was merriment, and there was a whole load of anatomy related jokes…
What this weekend really did was submerse us in the drama department and all of its new students, you got to know the other drama students at a much faster rate than freshers from most other subjects. The downside of this is that you kind of end up feeling a little kidnapped by drama – when the rest of my flatmates turned up on the Saturday I was out all that day and the following Sunday which really limited the opportunities for introductions. It also meant that whilst most people go to fresher’s events with their flatmates, the drama undergrads head out as an unintentional clique which can feel difficult to break away from. I hope that once my literature seminars start I will have the opportunity to be friends with people beyond my crazy circle of thespians, fingers crossed.
Sadly, shortly after the Minotaur weekend, one of the guys I had gotten to know made the difficult decision to drop out. Now I don’t know the ins and outs of it, and I really hope that he’s happier doing whatever he’s doing instead, but it makes you pause for thought. I’m enjoying uni, but it does feel like an unending whirlwind at the moment and there are times when you wish you could stop for a breather – however the plan for now is just to hold on for dear life and hope that I muddle my way through.
Theseus fighting the Minotaur; or a student grappling with their first freshers hangover